Johan Deckmann

The Struggle
Johan Deckmann

Johan Deckmann is a Copenhagen-based artist, practicing psychotherapist and author, whose works examine the complications of life through one-liners painted on the covers of fictional “self-help” books. These book titles, though often filled with scathing satire and humour, tackle life’s biggest questions, fears, and absurdities. Recognizing the power of language in both therapy and art, Deckmann successfully forms simple phrases that compress information, feelings or fantasies into an essence, and a truth that has an effect that is very similar to therapy. “The right words can be like good medicine,” Deckmann shares. While most of his book titles skirt between hilarious and poignant, underscored by their faded color and worn texture of 1970s era self-help guides, the readers are taken through a journey of self-reflection and soul-searching as they scroll through the entirety of Deckmann’s work.

“One of the most powerful aspects of Deckmann’s works is that every reader can relate to at least one them on a highly personal level, regardless of what cultural background, gender or age group. Titles such as “How to disappoint and just keep disappointing – Disappointment made easy” can resonate with anyone, but instead of remaining sinister, the work is made humorous by using the same language that you might find on a cook book or instruction kit. “How to burn out instead of fade away” might be most fitting for people that live in big cities under pressure, and, perhaps: “How to keep doing the same old mistakes and expect a different result” could be considered the most universally human of all one-liners.” 

Text by Cila Brosius Faurschou Foundation.
Daniel Arsham, at “Manuals” Exhibition Arsham/Fieg Gallery New York 2019
The Race
Clever Thoughts
Daniel Arsham, at “Manuals” Exhibition Arsham/Fieg Gallery New York 2019
Find Yourself
One Step
Miss Out
Sick of It All
The Type
Fake Smiler